European stocks closed higher Friday, tracking their fourth straight week of gains, as investors digested fresh earnings and growth data from the U.S.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed provisionally 0.4 percent higher. Basic resources jumped as trade concerns eased and corporates brought positive news to the market. Oil and gas stocks were also higher, after BP agreed to buy U.S. shale oil and gas assets from global miner BHP Billiton. The latter rose 2.044 percent. Telecoms were the best performing sector, up by 2.2 percent, on strong earnings. BT shares rose 4.959 percent after announcing an increase in profits.
Looking across the European benchmark, Carrefour rose 12.01 percent after reporting a profit increase in the first half of the year, whereas Kering fell 7.72 percent after Gucci sales came in slightly weaker than forecasts.
On the economic data front, gross domestic product figures for France were released before the bell — which came in below market forecasts. According to INSEE stats group, France's economy grew by 0.2 percent in the second quarter as the European nation was hit by strikes and a drop in consumer spending.
In the U.S., gross domestic product grew at a solid 4.1 percent pace in the second quarter, boosting hopes that the economy is ready to break out of its decade-long slumber.
Meantime, trade continues to dwell on investor sentiment, as fresh news continues to roll out. On Thursday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC that a deal on NAFTA would be coming soon. The U.S. has been in renegotiation talks with Canada and Mexico over NAFTA, after President Donald Trump heavily criticized the trade agreement.
The U.S. pledged to work together with the European Union this week, to reduce tariffs and avoid a trade war between the two regions; however the future of car levies remains unknown. On Thursday however, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross stated that the Commerce Department would continue its investigation into whether auto imports would inflict a risk on U.S. national security, Reuters reported.